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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

This captivating story involves time travel, but it's primarily about deep human connections, complete with fantastic, funny banter; awkward adjustments to the time period; and love and deep heartbreak. The ending is wonderful.

In a world of the near future, a young (unnamed) woman is one of several civil servants offered a mysterious job: she'll be a handler for expats--and paid very handsomely for her work.

But the expats the government is gathering aren't necessarily from another country. They're from other times in history.

The main protagonist's focus in her work is Commander Graham Gore (a character based upon a real figure from history), who has been whisked from a desperately failed expedition in 1847 to the book's future setting.

In order to be a "bridge" for Gore between his past and the present, she'll have to explain why she's showing so much skin, why it's not healthy to smoke all day, and what a washing machine is.

But the bridge and her client are building bonds deeper than either could have imagined; the love story between the bridge and Gore is strange, heartwarming, steamy, fraught, and just lovely.

I was obsessed with the various expats' awkward, funny, sometimes poignant adjustments to their new time, social expectations, technology, slang, and more. Their common disjointedness brings them together, and the mashup of personalities and histories was fantastic.

This starts out witty and fun, grows dark and ominous, with suspect motives, corruption, deadly danger, and foreshadowing of heartbreak and endings. There are twists I didn't see coming, which I was willing to suspend my disbelief regarding; and my mind was bent around trying to follow some of the later strings of time and timelines. The ending is gorgeous and I just loved it.

I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Avid Reader Press, Simon and Schuster.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

To read about other books I've reviewed that play with time, please check out this link.

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